Some really serious doubts have been cast by Prof. Juan Cole on the letter allegedly written by Ayman Al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the supposed Al-Queda leader in Iraq.
The doubts are based on very specific linguistic grounds.
1. The opening greeting seems to be wrong, that of a Shiite Muslim, not a Sunni Muslim from Egypt, like Zawahiri.
2. An additional salutation in the greeting is also not Sunnji, but Shiite, and probably would be insulting to a Sunni like Zarqawi.
3. Zawahiri refers to earlier times in completely inappropriate ways, as if Zarqawi and Zawahiri had been buddies, which they never were.
It will be interesting to see how many other Arabic and Muslim scholars confirm what Cole is contending. I hope this gets reviewed by many of them. And then, if confirmed, I hope we can nail whoever was the source for the forging of this document in yet another attempt to hoodwink the American people and the world press.